Claas Weinmann

Grief, Despair, Anger

The Aftermath of the Turkish Mine Desaster

Men are digging holes for the grave.
It was the worst mine desaster in Turkey's history: 301 workers died on 13 May 2014 in the mine of Soma after an explosion caused a fire. The men burnt to death or suffocated.

I arrived at the scene on May 14 to cover the incident and it's aftermath the next five days. This is what I witnessed.
Pain: The woman on the left cries out for her husband. The mother on the right is now alone with her four sons. She tells me: "It breaks my heart, but my sons will later have to work in the mines, too. We don't have no other jobs here."
Nearly all hope is gone: these mine workers know that their trapped comrades hardly have the chance anymore to get out alive.
Village of the Dead
Watching, waiting and praying at the entrance of the mine: there's not much the relatives can do.
400 people lived in the small mountain village Elmadere before the accident. Now it's eleven less. Those eleven families are now without provider. "We lost our future", one of the older men says.
Oppressed Anger
At the Soma cemetery: Dozens of funeral services are being held at the same time.
At the mine
In Soma relatives gather to express their anger. The town is under heavy police control, hundreds of police men armed with teargas and two water cannon trucks try to avoid demonstrations.
This father lost his son in the mine. He doesn't know how to explain to his two year old grandson that his dad won't come home anymore.
Bitter calculation on the place-name sign.
As a group of about 50 to 100 men shout slogans towards them, officers in plain clothes start to arrest them.